Triumph of Life

Long known for favoring the EP format over the full-length, Toronto’s FUCKED UP makes its Jade Tree debut with the two-song Triumph of Life seven inch. Although the six-minute title track appears on the group’s forthcoming long-player, Hidden World, this highly anticipated EP offers a completely different studio version. Decidedly more raw than its full-length counterpart, the version found here crackles, hisses, thunders and booms with all the chaos of the band’s legendary live shows-only listening to the seven inch, there’s no ink-stamp smear left on your hand later. With only two songs, FUCKED UP solidifies its reputation as “the second coming of punk” (thank you Maximum Rock ‘n Roll): a band very much doing its own thing, in spite of the underground’s many trends and pigeonholes. The comparatively shorter “Neat Parts” makes sure not to skimp, getting the job done quickly, and leaving listeners winded. Breaking the usual punk-song-time-limit barrier, Triumph of Life is an epic, multifarious track that roars through every expectation. Melodic, anthemic guitar lines and a driving rhythm section batter listeners alongside some of hardcore’s most ferocious and truly jarring vocals.

Management, handling and idea man: David Eliade. Recorded 1/29/06 at Audiolab Studios Toronto by Chris Hegge. Engineering and mixing by C. Hegge 2/5/06 at Audiolab. Executive Producer David Eliade. Produced by C. Hegge and Fucked Up. Licenced to Vice Records For UK Release by Hidden World Worldwide Enterprises Ltd. Published by Rats Love Music.
Performed by Fucked Up. Vocals Sung by Pink Eyes, backups by Mr. Jo and 10,000 Marbles. Guitars played By 10,000 Marbles, Concentration Camp and Mr. Jo. Bass played by Mustard Gas. Drums played By Mr. Jo.
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side in New Windsor, NY. Layout and Design by 10,000 Marbles and The Slasher under the direction of David Eliade and under the influence of Ernst Heackel at Slasher Studios Toronto. (C) + (P) Jade Tree 2006 / JT1116

1. Triumph of Life
2. Neat Parts

Hidden World

FUCKED UP‘s first release for Jade Tree is cloaked in shades of unconventional aesthetics, symbolic overtones and a self-proclaimed “culture of confusion.” Hidden World, the band’s first full length studio album, marks a turning point for the mysterious Toronto band, transcending the boundaries of punk with melody, aggression, expansive structures and enigmatic diatribes on what lies underneath the immediate, visualized world. FUCKED UP combine confrontational ideologies with deliberate misinformation to produce a brutal analysis on thought provocative punk. In a word, FUCKED UP and Hidden World is dangerous and unpredictable in a time when punk has become a manufactured commodity.

Vinyl is available through Deranged Records.

Recorded and Mixed by Jon Drew 04/1/06-04/06/06, 04/26/06-04/27/06, 05/02/06-05/04/06, 05/09/06-05/11/06. Recorded at Halla Music Toronto and mixed at Signal to Noise Studios. Sequenced by J. Drew at Toast Ears Studio Toronto 05/12/06. Original art by Jason Gardner (jasongardnerillustration.com) Design by Simon Wilkinson (simonwilkinson.ca). Sigils by Halie C. Michaelian and J. Gardner. Photography by Mimi Cabell (mimicabell.com). Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music. Mastered for Vinyl at Golden Sound Live Visual Media, documentation and Management by David Eliade Inner City Wives Road Crew managed by the Slasher, tour and merch management by Slasher. ©+ Jade Tree 2006 / JT1122.

Vocals by Pink Eyes. Guitars by 10,000 Marbles and Concentration Camp. Bass by Mustard Gas. Drums by Mr. Jo

All music written and performed by Fucked Up. Published by Rats Love Music. lookingforgold.blogspot.com

1. Crusades
2. David Comes To Life
3. Invisible Leader
4. Carried Out To The Sea
5. Baiting The Public
6. Fate Of Fates
7. The Two Snakes
8. Hidden World
9. Manqueller Man
10. Blaze Of Glory
11. Triumph Of Life
12. Jacobs Ladder
13. Vivian Girls

FUCKED UP AT SXSW 2008

What would SXSW without a million Fucked Up shows?

THURSDAY MARCH 13
@ VICE 302 EAST 6TH ST
VICE SHOWCASE
THE RAVEONETTES
DARK MEAT
JAY REATARD
FUCKED UP (9.30)
MIXHELL

THURSDAY MARCH 13
@ BEERLAND 711 RED RIVER ST
WHATS YOUR RUPTURE PARTY
YEAR OF THE PIG
THINK ABOUT LIFE
SEX VID
TYVEK

THURSDAY MARCH 13
@ A BOAT IN LAKE TRAVIS FROM 3-7PM
R5 PARTY
FUCKED UP + 1
invite only

FRIDAY MARCH 14
NME PARTY
@ THE WAVE 408 EAST 6TH ST
THESE NEW PURITANS
FUCKED UP (1.15)
HOLY GHOST REVIVAL
DUKE SPIRIT

FRIDAY MARCH 14
@ VICE OUTSIDE STAGE 1106 EAST 11TH ST
VICE SAVES SXSW PARTY

FUCKED UP (2.45) + lots more bands announced later

FRIDAY MARCH 14
@ SCOOT INN 1308 E 4TH ST 78702
SOLID PR PARTY
UNSANE
MAN MAN
FUCKED UP (10.30)
WORLD INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY
PAINT IT BLACK
SAVIOURS

FRIDAY MARCH 14
@ LAMAR ST PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE 2AM
FUCKED UP (3AM)
NO AGE
BRUTAL KNIGHTS

SATURDAY MARCH 15
@ WATERLOO PARK 12TH AND RED RIVER
MESS WITH TEXAS PARTY
NOON-10PM Free All Ages
THE BREEDERS
NOFX
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO
ISLANDS
FUCKED UP (5.50) (with special guest vocalist)
MATT AND KIM
MUNICIPAL WASTE
NO AGE
NEON NEON
YEASAYER
BLACK MOUNTAIN
TWO GALLANTS
ANNIHILATION TIME
THE NIGHT MARCHERS
JAY REATARD
LANGHORN SLIM
OXFORD COLLAPSE
ABE VIGOTA
MONOTIX
+ A DOZEN COMEDIANS

Hidden World is available on CD and LP through the and for download from:
| |

the blog.

$100 "Blaze of Glory"

During the first big snowstorm in Toronto, we had to cancel plans to shoot an episode in Mississauga (it was soooooo snowy!). The result was me desperately e-mailing a bunch of people asking if they wanted to play acoustic in my living room, which would allow me to not leave my house in a snowstorm, which would have been awesome. While my plan didn’t quite work out, 10,000 Marbles from Fucked Up eventually got back to me with an idea for an acoustic take on one of the band’s songs. His proposal, that we film local country duo-sometimes-trio $100 recording a cover of the band’s "Blaze of Glory", was obviously awesome. So a few days post-snowstorm, I trekked down to Little Italy to film this video.

I think the cover the band worked out from the totally-not-country original is astonishingly great. There’s not much else to say about it. It’s incredible. Pretty much the only thing left intact from Fucked Up’s version is the lyrics, but they work just as well in the context fashioned by $100. The song succeeds on a totally different level as a country ballad, as I think any fan of Fucked Up and Hidden World would agree.

Obviously this video is a little bit of a departure from what we’ve done so far with Exclaim!TV, but I think it’s a pretty cool new direction. Not like we’re going to abandon asking metal bands about puppies and kittens, or having my grandma ask punk bands about Michael Jackson. But sometimes it’s nice to focus on something this sincere.

Check out an interview with $100 here this Wednesday.

FUCKED UP TO TOUR UK WITH GALLOWS

FUCKED UP are heading back to the UK to spend a few weeks with English punks Gallows. See the dates below.

The will be updated with the most current information and details as we get them.

All dates with Gallows (excluding Feb 17, 25, 28 and Mar. 1st)

Feb 14 2008 London @ Barfly
Feb 15 2008 Norwich, Norfolk England @ UEA
Feb 16 2008 Birmingham England @ Academy – Birmingham
Feb 17 2008 Southampton England @ Joiners
Feb 18 2008 Cardiff Wales @ University – Cardiff
Feb 19 2008 Nottingham England @ Rock City
Feb 21 2008 Manchester England @ Manchester Academy 2
Feb 22 2008 Newcastle England @ Academy – Newcastle
Feb 23 2008 Glasgow Scotland @ ABC Glasgow
Feb 24 2008 Leeds, West Yorkshire England @ MET University
Feb 25 2008 Brighton England @ The Engine Room
Feb 26 2008 Exeter, Devon England @ Lemon Grove
Feb 27 2008 Portsmouth England @ Pyramid
Feb 28 2008 Sheffield England @ Corporation
Feb 29 2008 London England @ Astoria
March 1 2008 Kingston England @ Fighting Cocks

SPIRIT OF GIVING: MUSIC FOR MOSHING

You better watch out!
One of Toronto’s rising hardcore bands dons St. Nick’s gear today at Sonic Boom, all in the name of charity

JOSÉ LOURENÇO

Special to The Globe and Mail

December 15, 2007

Last January, the four lads and one lady of Toronto hardcore-punk darlings Fucked Up appeared on MTV Canada for a live taping that ended in pools of blood and $2,000 in damage.

"We did the [MTV Live] interview and no one in Fucked Up put a lot of effort into that interview piece, and then we got up to do the show and the kids just start trashing everything," says vocalist Damian Abraham, a.k.a. Pink Eyes. "And I pulled the blade job, where I cut my head and bleed a little, but I must have hit a vein or something because I’ve never bled that much in my life. I was just covered in blood.

"I don’t think the sound people and the people who had to clean up the blood were too stoked on it, but everyone else there was happy with the performance. They asked us to come back and play again."

How to top that first appearance?
Print Edition – Section Front

Section M Front Enlarge Image
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* A 10-minute conversation with the starchitect
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* Who’s walking the line, who isn’t, and the reasons why Lock
* The cupboards are bare: Cue those Canadian dramas Lock
* Go to the Arts section

The Globe and Mail

"Next time, I’m gonna have to set myself on fire."

As we converse at his cozy home Mr. Abraham asks if I would like a cup of herbal tea. I decline and sip from my water as he squeezes a measure of Billy Bee honey (from a honey bear) into his mug.

Anecdotes like the one that opened this piece fuel portrayals of the group as harbingers of disaster, but such stories don’t define them. If you visit the massive independent music retailer Sonic Boom (512 Bloor St. W.) today after 3 p.m., you’ll see the softer side of one of the harder bands our country has produced, complete with Mr. Abraham dressed as Santa Claus, leading his cohorts in a free, all-ages, in-store performance and raising money for a charity that helps women with mental illness.

Today’s event also serves as a release party for the band’s 21st seven-inch single, David Christmas, a charity record featuring multiple guests from major independent acts, as well as Nelly Furtado and, nearly, Arrested Development star David Cross. How does a hardcore band, unknown to your average mainstream music listener, attract such talent?

Simple. Aside from the doing-some-good angle of the project, the band is well into its transition from Canadian underground heroes to artists of broad renown. To legions of long-time fans, they’re the most important torchbearers of hardcore in Toronto. To new recruits, releases such as this past summer’s 18-minute track Year of the Pig (an organ opus set against the backdrop of the Robert Pickton trial), have them mentioned in the same breath as acts such as the Feist-spawning Broken Social Scene. Polaris Prize-winner Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy, the Arcade Fire) worked with the band on its 2006 double LP, Hidden World, it’s played music festivals such as SXSW, Osheaga and Pop Montreal and, of course, it made MTV Live history on an episode it split with hardcore legend Henry Rollins.

Local tales will grow taller after today’s release of David Christmas. The A-side, about the birth of the band’s personal lord and saviour (a shadowy, possibly fictitious Svengali named David Eliade), is in the grand punk tradition of the holiday song – Mr. Abraham name-checks the Ramones’ Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) as an example of the form – and the B-side is his band’s take on Do They Know It’s Christmas, featuring a motley mixture of over-the-phone and in-studio contributions from James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, Cole Alexander of the Black Lips, Shenae Grimes from Degrassi: The Next Generation and many more. Oh yeah, and did I mention Nelly Furtado?

The Promiscuous Girl happened to be recording in the same studio complex as the band and enthusiastically agreed, on the spot, to help the worthy cause.

All profits from the 1,000 copies of David Christmas, selling for $10 each, will go to George Herman House, self-described as "a transitional housing and life-skills program that supports women who are living with mental-health issues." An 11th-hour inspiration – "We had the idea for doing this B-side at 3 in the afternoon and we started recording at 5" – every artist invited took part.

Not everybody, however, returned the band’s call in time.

"David Cross called back the next day," Mr. Abraham says. "He was like, ‘I wanna record for that record.’ I said he should have called last night, and he was like, ‘Well, you didn’t give me much notice.’ "

"We didn’t plan this long enough in advance," adds Jonah Falco, the band’s drummer. "It was literally a Christmas miracle that everything happened on time."

The germination of today’s ambitious happening was somewhat less divine.

"Damian was in here shopping one day and I pretty much begged him to do [an in-store performance]," says Sonic Boom’s creative maven, Tim Oakley. "We started bouncing ideas off each other and it became this huge event with purpose and meaning."

Mr. Oakley designed and built the set for the show, and his pride in the North Pole/Santa’s Workshop theme is justified. The vintage snowman and winter cottage that the band will take to the stage are highlights, but particularly impressive was the zombie reindeer. Mr. Abraham, who will hold court in this northern kingdom in his Santa suit, says he is willing to take photos with fans who dare sit on his knee.

Today’s show is the third in Sonic Boom’s ongoing in-store performance series, with previous appearances by the Sadies and Jose Gonzalez. Fucked Up, live, is of course a much different beast than those soft-strummin’ acts. Some of the same fans who enjoyed themselves at MTV’s Masonic Temple could show up. Is owner Jeff Barber concerned about the possibility of damage?

"We’re doing this for the kids," he replies. "It’s no charge, all ages, and I hope that they’ll be respectful in return.

"I want people to mosh, obviously, but I’m a little nervous about that.

"Worst-case scenario is that all the money for charity actually goes to repairing Sonic Boom."

The only sure thing about the event is that it will be well attended, with hundreds of confirmations on Facebook. Those who want to see the show should arrive early – especially because Sonic Boom is providing (again, for free) 150 numbered, silk-screened show posters signed by band members. Thankful fans and attendees, if they care to give something in return, are encouraged to bring non-perishables for the food bank.

"It’s a good way to take advantage of everybody being aware of us right now. It’s always in danger of becoming exploitative," Mr. Falco says. " ‘The band with the swear word in its name, the singer bleeds, he’s a misanthrope jerk, they hate each other -’ "

"Well, that’s all true," Mr. Abraham points out.

"It’s all true," Mr. Falco continues, "but it seems to be the most prevalent thing, so we thought we’d kinda throw everybody for a loop. We’re actually really nice guys."

F—–d Up (but in a good way)

There are more reasons than simply a name that some puritanical types deem "controversial" why F—ed Up remains one of Toronto’s most under-recognized underground entities.

As silly as it is in this day and age, of course, the mild furor over a band daring to use the F-word in its moniker does have its drawbacks. Mainstream radio won’t touch F—ed Up, for instance, while big-box stores like Wal-Mart – which increasingly dominate the music-retail market – won’t stock its records.

Even the free press, as the observant reader will deduce from the preponderance of dashes on this page, tends to tie itself in knots over how to deal with the name; last month, the New York Times ran an entire piece praising a Brooklyn show by the group, yet conceding that its name "won’t be printed in these pages, not unless an American president, or someone similar, says it by mistake."

Still, Top-40 radio play, front-rack status at Best Buy and props from the Times likely don’t number among this defiantly D.I.Y. hardcore quintet’s ambitions.

F—ed Up’s prolific output consists mainly of seven- and 12-inch vinyl singles released on a variety of small indie labels, with only one full-length album, last year’s searing Hidden World, to appease the wider CD-buying public. And like any proper punk band, it has relied on relentless touring and word-of-mouth, not shrewdly orchestrated hype, to get its music out there.

Even onstage, mind you, F—ed Up doesn’t exactly wave you in with arms wide open. By bear-like and often bloodied (or partially nude) frontman Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham’s own admission, the object of the band’s earliest gigs was "to put on the most violent show possible."

"It’s not like it was," says Abraham, actually a jovial chap, after a round of hot chocolates with guitarist Mike "10,000 Marbles" Haliechuk and bassist Sandy "Mustard Gas" Miranda. "But then it would be ridiculous sh–, like psyching myself up in the bathroom before we’d play, going `Everyone here hates you.’"

"We would just drive around being bummed out," laughs Haliechuk. "Me and Damian would get in the car before the show and be, like …"

"…`F— this show,’" offers Abraham.

"Yeah, `F— these people.’ It’s the same now, except the people are, like, 10 feet farther away from us. So we don’t have to see them."

They talk a good talk, they do. But it’s a somewhat poorly kept secret that the F—ed Up crew – rounded out by second guitarist Josh "Concentration Camp" Zucker and drummer Jonah "Guinea Beat" Falco – actually cares.

The band followed up its recent, epic 12-inch diatribe about the treatment of women in the sex trade, "Year of the Pig," by playing a benefit show for the outreach organization Sex Professionals of Canada, for example.

This Saturday, too, F—ed Up is urging those who turn up for its free gig in the basement at Bloor St. W. record shop Sonic Boom to make a donation to George Herman House, a facility for women with mental-health issues, in lieu of paying a cover charge, and to bring some non-perishable food items for the food bank.

Before the show, Abraham will don a Santa Claus suit ("As you can tell by my stature, I’ve been working for years to get this physique.") and pose for photos with his four costumed "helpers" to raise a bit of extra cash. A new single, "David Christmas," has also been pressed for the occasion, with 100 per cent of the proceeds also going to George Herman House.

"David Christmas" is actually a teaser from the in-progress follow-up to Hidden World, but in the spirit of the season – and in keeping with a punk tradition observed by everyone from the Yobs to the Ramones to the Descendents – F—ed Up did indeed decide to make the B-side a Christmas carol. Of sorts.

At a loss for an appropriate song to do on the day of recording, the band finally decided to ring up every "name" in its collective Rolodex – including David Cross, Jello Biafra, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and, apparently, one Nelly Furtado – and ask the "unfortunate victims" to deliver a holiday message over a shrieking guitar-scape it had concocted.

"It’s pretty funny. All things considered, it came out really well," says Haliechuk. "Some people reacted well to us calling them out of the blue at 10 or 11 o’clock. Some of them reacted differently. But in the end, after we’d explained to them what we were doing, everyone went along with it."

"Jello Biafra’s really been dogging us," says Abraham. "More than just calling us. I was getting emails all week from, like, his assistant saying, `Jello is really excited about this project. Can you please write me back?’"

Biafra was, sadly, too late to make the cut, but it’s a testament to F—ed Up’s growing profile that so many well-known folks – we won’t spoil the surprises awaiting on the seven-inch – will now return the band’s calls at the drop of a hat.

Not a bad capper, really, to a wild year that’s seen the six-year-old outfit ride waves of acclaim for Hidden World to a couple of transatlantic tours, $2,000 worth of havoc during an MTV Canada appearance, a scene-stealing spot at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex., where they were joined onstage by Black Flag’s Keith Harris ("High praise from Caesar," Abraham calls it) and so much demand for shows that F—ed Up is now joking about "contracting out" the next record to another band because it doesn’t have time to maintain its recording schedule.

Lest it be thought that such notoriety has softened F—ed Up in any way, though, keep in mind that all of this has been accomplished while its members juggle day jobs and scrimp and scrape to make ends meet. They’re a little worried, in fact, that F—ed Up might cease to be the real F—ed Up should it become a full-time job.

"A lot of people who know about music, journalists and sh–, know about our band. Last year, we were in the NME, like, every week. But we’re still playing to 200 people in England. So it’s like this weird dichotomy where we’re popular but we’re still a small band," says Haliechuk.

"We have this patina of success. Especially for a hardcore band, we get crazy press and we’re on the lips of a lot of people and we know so many people now. But we don’t play to a thousand people, we haven’t sold a million copies of the record and we still don’t make any money off the band.

"We’re still the same people. It’s this empty balloon sort of thing – the F—ed Up balloon keeps expanding, but there’s nothing in the centre for us. We’re doing a Toronto Star interview, we were in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, but it doesn’t really translate into us being `successful.’ It keeps us the same band."

– - – - –

F—ED UP vs. BIG TOBACCO

Committed antagonists though they may be, the members of F—ed Up aren’t in the business of shilling for cigarettes. Selling cigarettes occasionally to make ends meet, maybe, but that’s another story. In any case, the band was still alarmed – along with the likes of Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, Devendra Banhart and fellow Canadians such as Wolf Parade, AIDS Wolf and Black Mountain – this week to find an MP3 link to its song "Color Removal," among others, hitched to the online version of Rolling Stone. It was part of an advertising feature touting the "Indie-Rock Universe" that some U.S. lawmakers claim is a veiled pitch for Camel cigarettes. Eight states had already sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco as of Tuesday over the original, illustrated print pullout because, they say, it violates a law that prohibits using cartoons to sell cigarettes. But the buzz on sites like TheDailySwarm.com is that bands and labels are now gearing up to file their own lawsuits because the online music provider Rhapsody surrendered their tunes to an alleged tobacco ad without their consent. F—ed Up, for its part, found out about the snafu from a member of AIDS Wolf on Monday and is now, says vocalist Damian Abraham, casting about for an entertainment lawyer. "We want to know if the bands can take legal action against Rhapsody, which illegally licensed the MP3s for the project," says guitarist Mike Haliechuk. Ben Rayner

A VERY FUCKED UP CHRISTMAS


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Word has just come in that FUCKED UP will be part of special celebration and fund raiser this holiday season. A new single from the band will also be available at the show and online. Full details of that very interesting record featuring Nelly Furtado and , among many others, can be found at the .

About the show:

"To celebrate the release of this record and everything wrong/ right about this time of year FUCKED UP will be hosting a very special event at Sonic Boom Music (512 Bloor St. West) on December 15. With the help of the very talented Tim Oakley, Fucked Up will be playing a live set in Santa’s Workshop and the ol’ jolly fat elf himself will take over the vocal duties for Fucked Up at this event. There will be surprise guests and a chance to take your picture with Santa and best of all it is all for free (of course you can bring a donation for George Herman House)! All we are asking is that you please bring some non-perishable food items (and please don’t bring in something stupid like cream corn or something that has been sitting in the cupboard for years) for the food bank (we will have a box for donations).

So come down with some food, take a photo with Santa, watch FUCKED UP and buy a 7". It is all for a good cause.

For the people that can’t make it down to the show: have no fear. The 7" will be available (while quantities last) for mail order. More info will be posted on the FUCKED UP or on the ."

Saturday, December 15th
512 Bloor St. West
3pm Santa / 5pm Concert
Cost: Non-perishable foodbank donation
Additional Guests Appearing

Hidden World is available on CD and LP through the and for download from:
| |

Outrage, Bile, Hardcore Punk … and a Sensible Lost-and-Found

“This next song is about the people who want to control our bodies,” said the singer known as Pink Eyes, adding, “This next song is about the police.”

Pause. No music.

“And it would start, if we were a professional band.”

Pink Eyes is the lead roarer in a ferocious band from Toronto. What band? Well, the name won’t be printed in these pages, not unless an American president, or someone similar, says it by mistake. Suffice it to say that this is an unruly hardcore punk band with a name to match. (You can find out more at the official Web site, lookingforgold.blogspot.com.)

On Saturday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Pink Eyes and his band mates provided plenty of mayhem, although the crowd wanted more. “That’s, like, an hour set, people,” he said, incredulous, when impatient fans tried to coax the band back with a complicated combination of cheering and booing.

Someone voiced a preference for songs over speeches. Pink Eyes grew even more incredulous. “Less talking? They’re seriously gone,” he said, referring to the bassist and the drummer, and the three guitarists who sort of sounded like one, only louder. “I’m by myself.” (Continued at .)

THE STAY AT HOME MOM’S GUIDE TO FU…


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If you came from and you didn’t end up already, take a moment to do that now. Then, come back here and check out this:

Hidden World is available on CD and LP through the and for download from:
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FUCKED UP RETURN TO NYC: TICKETS AVAILABLE


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FUCKED UP return to NYC this weekend with Mind Eraser and 86 Mentality. .

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH
MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG (66 North 6 St.)
8PM $10 /$12 door 16+
FUCKED UP
MIND ERASER
86 MENTALITY

In other news, Exclaim recently featured FUCKED UP in an article about the ‘Fuck’ bands. Check it out here:

Hidden World is available through the and for download from:
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What the Fuck? Curse Word Band Names Challenge the Music Industry

“We got an e-mail this morning from Coachella saying they won’t book our band because of our name,” says an exasperated Brian Borcherdt, whose band, Holy Fuck, is featured on this month’s cover. Funny thing is, Holy Fuck has played Coachella before, as well as Osheaga, Glastonbury, SXSW, and recently, Toronto’s civic-minded, corporate-sponsored all-night art exhibition, Nuit Blanche. But their return engagement to Coachella has been cancelled.

In 1991, Toronto mayor June Rawlings infamously barred then-indie rising stars the Barenaked Ladies from performing at Nathan Philips Square, just outside Toronto City Hall, ironically the site of the band’s first gig three years prior. Things may have changed in the 16 years since, with Barenaked Ladies becoming as crucial to our cultural identity as socialised medicine and ketchup chips, but the latest batch of mayoral-y offensive band names is creeping out of the gutter and on to big-name festivals, nationally syndicated television and magazine covers.

On January 16 this year, Toronto’s Fucked Up performed live on MTV Canada. While the band was introduced as “Effed Up,” their mere presence on a major broadcaster would appear to indicate a shifting acceptance of what is traditionally regarded as indecent language. The same band has graced the cover of Toronto-based alternative weekly Eye, as have Holy Fuck. Ottawa’s Fuck the Facts have started making a name for themselves outside of the insular grindcore community through extensive national touring, and you can buy a Total Fucking Destruction CD in Wal-Mart – a pretty significant change from 1993, when the chain forced Nirvana to alter the title of In Utero song “Rape Me” to “Waif Me.”

As bands like Fucked Up continue to gain exposure in mainstream media (a recent New York Times profile referred to the band as “Messed Up”), what is the ultimate effect on both the artist and the use of language in the media? While these bands can be seen as breaking down totally arbitrary taboos, it can be argued that pervasive use removes the taboo attraction that draws bands to these words in the first place. As they grow in popularity, how does a media climate that doesn’t event allow the utterance of their name adapt?

“I say ?°»fuck’ at least 60 times a day,” says Fuck the Facts guitarist Topon Das. “Who thinks about that stuff? Normal Joe Schmoes like me and you go around saying ?°»fuck’ and ?°»shit’ like it’s peanut butter.” Das is (mostly) right; according to a 2006 Associated Press/Ipsos poll, 46 percent of Americans admit to using profanity in general conversation a few times a week or more. At the same time, 67 percent say that hearing swear words bothers them “a lot.” “Who cares?” asks John Cerar, drummer for the Fucking Wrath. “We’re a metal band. If someone has a problem with it, fuck it.” Cerar’s coarse contention that anyone offended by his band’s name probably wouldn’t be a fan in the first place probably holds true; with the exception of Matador Records’ Fuck, whose music generally consists of sweet-sounding indie-pop, and the electronic-rock of Holy Fuck, most bands that opt to drop the f-bomb in their name play the kind of aggressive music that, until recently, had no place in mainstream music culture.

“I come from a pretty underground scene,” says Rich Hoak, drummer for Brutal Truth and the braintrust behind Total Fucking Destruction. “There are tons of stupid, violent, sexist, gore-metal idiots that have shitty names all the time. Having a band called Total Fucking Destruction didn’t seem that original to me.” Hoak’s sentiments are echoed by 10,000 Marbles, guitarist for Fucked Up, perhaps the best example of a band birthed in the hardcore scene and currently migrating toward a pop culture landscape that is less liberal with its language.

“Where we were coming from, it was totally normal. Think about how many times you use ?°»fucked up’ in day-to-day speech,” 10,000 Marbles says. “When you’re a hardcore punk band, there are different rules. We didn’t really expect to appeal to people outside of that world. We were a gritty punk band back then.” Even for bands not playing within the realm of punk and hardcore, choosing a name with potential commercial limitations isn’t a huge initial concern.

“It’s not like we were starting our first band at 16 when you have delusions of grandeur and you think you’re going to skyrocket to the top,” says Holy Fuck’s Borcherdt. “For now, music is fun, music is expression, and music is a way to be ourselves.” Timothy Prudhomme, founding member of Fuck, agrees. “We figured that anyone who had a problem with the name would not be the kind of music fan, club, or label we were hoping to catch,” he says. “Methinks our songs are a bit too esoteric for most majors, as is our unusual sex appeal. We were never worried about any express route to fame and fortune.” Yet not even the land of independent labels is free from such concerns – Fuck were told by a marketing director at Matador that they needed to change their name. They didn’t.

While dubbing yourself ?°»Fuck’ might land you in trouble when trying to have your record stocked at Wal-Mart, there’s usually a way around even large chains’ obscenity rules; if you’re Jane’s Addiction, it meant replacing the entire cover of Ritual De Lo Habitual with the text of the First Amendment, and if you’re Total Fucking Destruction, all it takes is one well-placed sticker. This is the point when a band’s name becomes an issue; there aren’t children lined up outside of whatever dive bar that Punk Band X is playing tonight, but there certainly are kids wandering Best Buy, watching MTV, and looking at posters for Coachella. So while bands are free to be as loose with their language as they want in the confines of their own subculture, as soon as kids enter into the picture, it’s a whole new fucking ballgame.

“Every kid I know in the world knows ?°»fuck,’” says Martin Gero, whose directorial debut, Young People Fucking, debuted at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (see sidebar). “When you’re a kid, there’s a limited number of places you can swear. When you’re an adult, the number of places you can swear grows exponentially, to the point where the only place you can’t swear is around kids. It’s the weird trick act, where we’re pretending like they don’t know and we don’t know and newspapers don’t want to print it ?°»cause they don’t want kids to read it. To which I say, ?°»Show me the eight year old that reads the paper.’ If the kid’s reading the paper, he’s probably heard the word ?°»fuck’ — and he’s probably pretty cool.”

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. These are the original “seven words you can never say on television,” as infamously recited by George Carlin on his groundbreaking 1972 comedy record, Class Clown. They are the seven words that had Carlin locked up for disorderly conduct in Milwaukee in 1972, and the seven words that led to the 1978 Supreme Court ruling in Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, which found the routine “indecent but not obscene.” Stemming from a 1973 complaint over WBAI-FM’s broadcast of Carlin’s performance, the decision established the vague guidelines for obscenity that media outlets are forced to grapple with and interpret to this day.

Though we’re generally less draconian about it, Canadian regulators have always taken their cue from our southern neighbours. According to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Code of Ethics, “Programming which contains sexually explicit material or coarse or offensive language intended for adult audiences shall not be telecast before the late viewing period, defined as 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.” In the States, the Federal Communications Commission’s stance on obscenity in the media remains a murky one at best (and whose late viewing period starts an hour later).

“The fact that we even said ?°»Effed Up’ — I know for a fact that on MTV in the States, you can’t even say ?°»effed,’” says MTV Live producer Alex Sopinka. “Their restrictions are even worse. And the fines that Bush brought in are tremendous. They’re ten times the amount they used to be.” Where the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council generally requires broadcasters in violation of the Code of Ethics to issue on-air apologies, the FCC is capable of dolling out millions of dollars in fines; a 2004 broadcast of Without A Trace was slapped with $3,607,500 in fines, while WZEE-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, received $7,000 in fines for playing Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady.” (A single that reached #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 2000.) “Whenever we do radio sets in the states, we have to be really careful. That’s where it becomes an issue,” says 10,000 Marbles. “These are small, community radio stations, populated by normal people who swear and use colourful language, but they’re governed by the same laws as NBC and all the big networks. And if someone makes a mistake, this small, small radio station ends up with a huge fine.”

Fines are not the only legal concern of bands with potentially offensive names in the States; there’s also the possibility that they don’t even exist. “At the time we were starting out, the U.S. Copyright Office refused to acknowledge that the word ?°»fuck’ exists,” says Fuck’s Prudhomme. “They have a list of dirty words they refuse to acknowledge. A short list, but a list nonetheless. Which means the record contracts we signed cannot be presented in a court of law, and if another band calls themselves ?°»Fuck,’ we can’t ask them to desist. But I don’t mind. We’re not the litigious types anyway.”

While Europe is often perceived as being light-years ahead of North America in regards to its permissive stance on language (and most other things), there remain pockets of conservatism that still rival that of the colonies. Holy Fuck were booking an overseas tour around an invitation to play Glastonbury this past June, when they were invited to play a Canada Day show in Trafalgar Square. Unable to pay the band, promoters secured an Air Canada sponsorship that drastically reduced the tour’s expenses.

“We’re putting a budget together, hiring a tour manager, renting gear over there, renting a van, and then at the last minute, we were pulled,” says Borchedrt. “We found out later that they had some anti-obscenity clause with the media, where you can’t say ?°»fuck’ before nine at night, and the show started at eight. They were afraid someone would slip up and say the name. The decision to have us play came down to one person — the mayor of London. This happened ten days before we were supposed to go on tour. We lost our sponsorship, so we lost our flights. We ended up cancelling half our tour because we had no money. We took a hit and paid for as much as we could so we could play Glastonbury. Because we got fucked on Canada Day.”

Holy Fuck’s experience abroad may be the exception to the rule (Rich Hoak says quite directly: “The article you’re writing — they wouldn’t understand it in Germany or the Czech Republic”), but concerns over anti-obscenity laws are not unique to North America. “In Liverpool, they put our names on posters without any censorship,” recalls Tim Soete, drummer for San Francisco’s the Fucking Champs. “The police ended up going around and taking them down or crossing out the names. It was a little surprising.” For the most part, however, such concerns are the dominion of Canada and the United States, where radio stations are forced to issue apologies for airing indecent Tragically Hip songs (“Locked in the Trunk of a Car,” aired at three in the afternoon by Montreal’s CHOM-FM) or pony up $42,000 for a few slip-ups on Mancow’s Morning Madhouse (six, actually, between 2000 and 2001).

“We have guidelines, and we adhere to them,” says Craig Halket, senior music programmer at MuchMusic. “But we do push to the edge. ?°»Shit’ is completely acceptable all day. We’ve aired ?°»Fuck the Shit’ by Sons of Butcher — a lot, actually. We play Dennis Leary’s ?°»Asshole’ all the time. We try as hard as a mainstream music station on TV can.” Canadians really do enjoy much more freedom with their language than Americans, even though it’s still possible for a radio station to be forced to apologise for playing NOFX’s “Kill All the White Man” (as Winnipeg’s Power 97 did in 2005).

“People say ?°»shit’ on TV all the time now,” says 10,000 Marbles. “That’s newly been christened as an acceptable word. You’ll be watching CBC and George Stroumboulopoulos is just relishing saying the word ?°»shit.’”

“If some kid is interested in counter- or alternative culture, and they’re going through CDs in Best Buy and see Total Fucking Destruction, they’re going to buy it,” says Hoak. He’s right; in certain music scenes, a well-placed ?°»fuck’ can draw the kind of attention that leads to record sales, filled-out tour schedules, and a performance on MTV Canada. Such attention-grabbing tactics are employed by artists of all kinds, from Hoak’s hyper-literate metal-with-a-message straight on through to Chris Ofili’s shit-smeared the Holy Virgin Mary. Then there’s Anal Cunt.

“When I thought of the name, I thought it would catch people’s eye,” explains Seth Putnam, Anal Cunt founder and sole original member. “I was just putting words together, and those two seemed to fit. If someone were looking through a catalogue or a record bin, they’d probably stop. I thought it sounded catchy.” While you can’t get much more eye-catching than Putnam’s project, who are as infamous for song titles (“You Were Pregnant So I Kicked You In The Stomach,” “Anyone Who Likes The Dillinger Escape Plan Is A Faggot”) as music, others have certainly tried.

“I was in a band called Bobbo, and whenever I told anyone the name, the usual response was, ?°»What did you say? Could you spell that?’” says Prudhomme. “And Ted [Ellison, bassist] had been in a band called Hieronymous Firebrain, to which the response was, ?°»What did you say? Could you spell that?’ But everybody knows how to spell ?°»Fuck.’ On our first U.S. tours, more clubs booked us because of our name. They knew what we knew — curiosity seekers would come out to see what kind of band would call themselves ?°»Fuck.’ And what a merchandising bonanza! We can grab a sharpie and write the word ?°»fuck’ on a 25-cent banana and sell it for a dollar in a New York second. It’s ridiculous.” So while dropping the f-bomb in your name might not mean much in some circles, it’s still is an easy way to draw attention to what you’re doing.

“I think that the moment our name became something notable, it was so much of a novelty that it worked to our benefit rather than our detriment,” says 10,000 Marbles. “I think our name has taken us pretty far. We’ve been able to leave the punk-hardcore ghetto, and once you leave that, it’s not just another band name.” A name like Fuck or Fucked Up is likely to interest as many people as it offends, but what happens as these words lose their power? If “fuck” is indeed like “peanut butter,” as Fuck the Facts’ Das suggests, does the mainstreaming of one of North America’s last remaining taboos take the power away from names chosen specifically for their linguistic power?

The strength of words like “fuck” and “shit” comes from a culture that has imbued them with some mystical, offensive overtones; consider that ?°»cunt,’ arguably the last genuinely taboo word in North American society, is considered a friendly, if slightly vulgar term, in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. If “fuck” goes the way of “hell,” becoming an acceptable word in most segments of society, will we be left with a slew of bands operating under names like Holy Cunt?

“A dirty word has never actually killed anyone,” says Prudhomme. “If we want to eliminate four letter words that bequeath death, we should start with ?°»fire.’” Indeed, there are greater dangers in the world than those posed by a few musicians trying to challenge the status quo. All things considered, what is so offensive about bands like Fucked Up, Fuck the Facts, Holy Fuck, Total Fucking Destruction, the Fucking Wrath, the Fucking Champs, and Fuck? Surely in times of poverty, strife and war, there are greater social threats and concerns than an underground band dropping an f-bomb.

MTV’s Alex Sopinka recalls the difficulties once faced by the Butthole Surfers and how “time caught up with their name.” It may be a few years (and a few Stateside administrative changes), but there is a chance that North American society could, shockingly, find itself relaxing about the remaining four of those seven dirty words. Or maybe, as Carlin himself notes, there will always be “some people that are not into all the words.”

Fucking On Screen
Music isn’t the only artistic arena where commercial aspirations and curse words are at odds; one of the biggest success stories of this year’s film fest circuit is the ballsy Young People Fucking, the creation of Vancouver filmmaker Martin Gero. Playing to sold-out audiences at both the Toronto and Vancouver International Film Festivals, the film will be distributed in the U.S. by THINKFilm and in Canada by Christal. And it will keep the name Young People Fucking.

“We figured we would have to call it something else eventually,” says Gero. “You know that movie The Family Stone with Sarah Jessica Parker? It was originally called I Fucking Hate Her. It’s kind of a spec script trick to get read sometimes.” There have been a few “fuck” films that make it out of production with their original titles intact; Fuck, a 2005 documentary on the origins of the word, 2006’s Who the Fuck is Jackson Pollock?, and a slew of unseen experimental shorts, horror films, and teen-sex romps (In God We Fuck, Pretty Li’l Fuck, Smoke Pot Till You Fucking Die). Still, it’s pretty rare to spot the word “fuck” on the marquee of your local cinema or in the listings for the closest multiplex.

“When there are 400 titles in the Saturday paper of what’s playing, you need something that’s going to pop out,” Gero says. “We don’t have a huge star in the movie. We needed our title to be the hook.” Beyond the eye-popping title, however, is a purpose. “The film is trying to be honest,” he says. “We could call it Bedtime Stories or Five People In Love, but the title is frank and funny, which is what the film is trying to be.” So far, Young People Fucking has yet to run into any major roadblocks; foreign distributors have been given the option of releasing it as YPF, but it will be seen across North America by its proper name. “?°»Fuck’ is what ?°»hell’ was 30 years ago,” Gero says. “We’re slowly breaking down these bad words. ?°»Fuck’ used to be the bomb. It was the ?°»f-bomb’! It’s just not a bomb anymore.”

BEST OF TORONTO: Fucked Up – Best Live Band

Best indie band
TOKYO POLICE CLUB

If you’re looking for frantic, revved-up indie rock, there’s nothing better than Tokyo Police Club. In just two years, this foursome has gone from obscure club act to Rolling Stone-approved rock ‘n’ rollers – and they haven’t even released a full-length yet. Jumping from Paper Bag to Saddle Creek this year was a wise move. Now the world can find out why we can’t get enough of these guys.

Best Latin artist
TELMARY

Telmary Diaz came from Cuba and, in a blink, built a following here on the strength of her undeniable (multi-)talent. The poetic rhymer, singer and jazz composer spits substance in fluid Spanish with her smouldering Latin orchestra. No wonder she made an impact this year that sent aftershocks from Lula Lounge to Harbourfront.

Best music media personality
HANNAH SIMONE

Born in Calgary, raised in Saudi Arabia, India and BC, this poli-sci major and former model graduated from Ryerson and immediately kicked in the TV media door. After a year on HGTV, the nation’s music station proved a much better fit. A broadcasting natural, Simone is one of the sharpest hosts MuchNews has ever had.

Best dance club
CIRCA 126 John, 416-979-9346

You could argue that it’s way too early to bestow this prize on Peter Gatien’s sensory-overload temple. But it’s already clear there’s nothing else like it. Good sound, creative lighting and a clear vision – everything a nightclub should be and much more.

Best hiphop artist
ABDOMINAL

Years ago, Abdominal emerged from Toronto’s stomach with DJ Fase (his sometime producer and crucial part of his live show) and took the town by tornado. His wit and whirlwind skills elevated him to the world stage through the 00s. Escape From The Pigeon Hole, his fiery 2007 solo album, cemented his best hiphopper status.

Best female singer
ELIZABETH SHEPHERD

The fabulous indie release Start To Move earned Shepherd a jazz Juno nom, and the forward-looking young stylist nearly upstaged Diana Krall. Demand for shows in the UK and Japan is increasing, and judging by the way Shepherd outsings funky soul chanteuse Nicole Willis on Willis’s own If This Ain’t Love, Toronto’s best-kept jazz secret is about to blow up globally.

Best pianist
OSCAR PETERSON

The jazz piano legend may be 82 years young, but even today nobody can touch this giant. He’s the best. Deal with it. Best punk band BRUTAL KNIGHTS These hairy, gut-jiggling, boyfriend-stealing, crowd-soaking rock ‘n’ roll ignoroids not only put on one helluva entertaining spectacle, but they also combine just the right amount of sick slapstick humour and fuck-you attitude to take the best punk band title.

Best electronic artist
MSTRKRFT

Their remix of Justice’s summer anthem, D.A.N.C.E., was picked for the official remix EP (out of a few trillion unofficial remixes), and they’re rocking some of the biggest festivals and clubs around the world when they’re not in the studio working on the follow-up to 2006′s The Looks.

Best live band
FUCKED UP

With the live music experience becoming more about watching someone hover over a MacBook, local shit-starters Fucked Up seem like a dying breed. Singer Pink Eye prefers his shows dangerous, unpredictable and discomforting, like a fight, which is maybe why FU look so proudly damaged after each loudly nihilistic body-harming performance.

Best male singer
VOYCE ALEXANDER

In the tradition of Glenn Lewis and k-os, this rising Toronto vocalist evokes memories of one of those rugged Jodeci boys in their prime while inspiring faith that the T.Dot’s new school of rhythm and blues singers can pick up where D’Angelo fell off.

Best acoustic guitarist
BRUCE COCKBURN

Though he’s calling La Belle Province home these days, tireless musical fighter Bruce Cockburn still feels like Toronto property. His fingerpicking mastery, best displayed on his lauded instrumental Speechless and more recent Life Short Call Now, continues to prove you don’t need volume to make some noise.

Best electric guitarist
ALEX LIFESON

Alex Lifeson still shreds arenas around the globe on a regular basis with prog godfathers Rush. Although he claims to have written most of the material for this year’s well-received Snakes & Arrows on acoustic, his signature high-voltage intricacies were ubiquitous on the final product.

Best bassist
NICK SEWELL

While many know him as the thunderous low end from defunct power trio Illuminati, Sewell now lurks with high-octane punk ‘n’ roll waste cases Drunkula. Check his collection of obscure vintage axes and the way he can rip hot bass fills without a pick. Obviously a graduate of the Lemmy Kilmister School of Bloody Fingers.

Best keyboardist
TODOR KOBAKOV

The Bulgarian brains behind pop upstarts Major Maker is also working keyboard detail these days with Thom D’Arcy’s Small Sins outfit, tours regularly with Emily Haines’s Soft Skeleton and is practically a piano prodigy. He completed a classical performance degree at U of T at age 20.

Best string player/arranger
PAUL AUCOIN

People move to Toronto every year, but arguably no one has had a greater impact on our music scene than Paul Aucoin. Since moving from the East Coast a few years ago, the shaggy-haired player has produced and played with Cuff the Duke, the Fembots, the Old Soul and the list goes on. Don’t forget his brilliant arranging skills, on full display in his indie orchestra the Hylozoists.

Best talent deserving wider recognition
AYAH

So far, only the fortunate few have heard Ayah’s golden pipes ring out with confidence and passion. Hearing her Mary J. Blige-worthy survivor anthem In My Lifetime will make you a true believer. Somebody, please invest in this Toronto treasure.

Best indie label
MAGNIFICENT 7 RECORDS

Starting up a record label is already ludicrous, so you have to be completely mad to launch an operation that releases only 7-inch vinyl, right? Well, DJ Davy Love (he of the highly touted Blow Up dance parties) may be crazy, but his series of tough-rockin’ singles by the Mark Inside, Easy Targets, Action Makes and Lipstick Machine – and off-the-hook release parties to go with them – has provided a welcome dose of excitement.

Best club booker
CRAIG LASKEY and JEFF COHEN

Getting the Horseshoe and Lee’s their fair share of just about every band worth seeing that comes through Toronto is no small beans. With their Against the Grain booking company, Laskey and Cohen are why a shop like the ‘Shoe is known as a prime venue for the latest musical discoveries as well as a hub for hot local talent.

Best hiphop producer
MARCO POLO

Screwface-to-Gotham City emigrant Marco Polo journeyed to the promised land, creating certified bangers for dozens of golden-era East coast MCs and landing on the resurrected Rawkus Records. He raised production standards with his Port Authority LP. Not to mention Kool G. Rap, Kardinal, Buckshot, O.C., Masta Ace, and the list goes ono.

Best blues artist
RAOUL & THE BIG TIME

The slickly dressed four-piece led by former Train 48 lead Raoul Bhaneja has done increasingly well for itself in recent years with an eclectic and learned combination of "Toronto, Chicago and Hollywood blues" and a list of influences that reads like a blues nerd’s wet dream. No cheeseball stuff here, just a seriously credible homage to the classic school.

Best club DJ
NASTY NAV

Unlike many of his indie dance competitors, Nav has been playing long enough to bring some actual technique to the decks as well as the kind of record collection that comes from rocking clubs with dusty jazz discs for years and running a record shop.

Best remixers
VNDLSM

It took Diplo’s inclusion of his bootleg remix of Rihanna’s Umbrella on the Pitchfork DJ mix to bring him to most of T.O.’s attention, and that’s brought the ears of the rest of the world as well. Blog-house that could easily end up rocking the big rooms.

Best event promoter
AD/D

They consistently bring in the top talent from the edgier end of dance music along with artists who are just breaking out, and their profile has shot up even higher due to their involvement with much-hyped nightclub Circa in what seems to be a perfect fit.

Best breakout artist
CRYSTAL CASTLES

An accidental recording of a mic check ended up being a fluke underground hit, and that’s led to successful tours and a considerable amount of fawning press and Internet buzz. Their debut full-length album is due this winter.

Best live venue
HORSESHOE TAVERN 368 Queen West, 416-598-4753

If you’ve lasted since 1947, you’re doing something right. And the Horseshoe is an institution for good reason. It’s a great stage to play on and a great room to hear a band in. Sure, there are bigger, flashier places, but do the Rolling Stones play surprise gigs there?

Best drummer
ANDREA HIGGINS

A music supervisor for films by day and rhythmic heartbeat of garage rockers Shitt Hottt by night, self-taught drummer Higgins may seem an unusual choice for top timekeeper. But anyone who’s seen her maniacally attack a kit Keith Moon-style will know this deceptively sweet-looking gal is a primo pounder who packs a devastating wallop.

Best steel guitarist
BOB EGAN

Although he earned his considerable steel guitar rep with Wilco and Freakwater, Egan is now best known as Blue Rodeo’s fifth Beatle, who speaks softly and twangs with enormous taste and creativity. Other pedal- and lap-steel players may be flashier, but none can match Egan’s superb support work as the consummate team player.

Best jazz artist
ROBI BOTOS

Originally from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, gifted jazz pianist Robi Botos has been turning heads ever since he hit town in 1998, combining formidible chops with great sensitivity and palpable passion. There’s good reason why he won the solo piano competition at the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival and walked away with the keyboardist of the year trophy at the 2007 National Jazz Awards. This Botos boy’s definitely got it.

Best producer
DON KERR

He keeps a low profile, so no one really knows much about what happens at Rooster Studios, Kerr’s home recording hideaway. But now and then one of his mysterious productions appears – like Claire Jenkins’s wonderful Crow’s Nest disc – leaving everyone wondering, "How did he do that?" Simple, just dangle microphones in strange places all over the living room to record the band playing through all their songs while tape rolls in the basement. You just need a magician like Kerr to make it work.

Best saxophonist
KIRK MACDONALD

A wonderfully giving sideman and soulful soloist with a full, rich tone on the tenor, MacDonald has appeared on over 30 CDs and recorded more than 40 of his own compositions. Yet his immense talents have been largely overlooked in Toronto because he spends more of his time in classrooms teaching at the university level than in clubs. Nevertheless, he’s one of the finest jazz saxophonists this country has ever produced, and local recognition is long overdue. Here’s a start.

Best trumpeter
NICK ALI

Born in Trinidad and known in Toronto and beyond for shows that get blood boiling, Nick "Brownman" Ali is the best trumpeter (that includes the electric trumpet and flügelhorn, too) in town. Also a composer, arranger and session player, Ali was born with no need to sleep – it’s how he can lead not one but four bangin’ bands.

Best R&B artist
ZAKI IBRAHIM

This worldly singer shook the city’s soul with a glowing voice, powerful show and brilliant songwriting. Seeming to appear magically from nowhere (she actually came from BC), Ibrahim busted into our hiphop scene, toured nationally with Tumi & the Volume and dropped uplifting music at a prolific rate. And she’s just getting warmed up.

Best reggae/ calypso artist
LINDO P

Kardinal is careful about who he keeps in his circle, and Lindo P is a prized member of the rap star’s Black Jays fam for good reason. There’s his intense work ethic – see all the mixtape releases and shows Lindo’s name and toasts are associated with. From dropping tracks about reggae beefs to rocking parties with Brendan Canning, Lindo P is the hottest reggae artist in the ‘Dot.

Best university radio program
CIUT’s SUGAR FOOT STOMP
www.ciut.fm

Sandwiched into a heady and hugely eclectic program schedule, Sugar Foot Stomp (Thursday from 5 to 6 pm) stands out as a musical breather, with host Colin Bray delving back to the four-on-the-floor bliss of classic jazz from the 20s and 30s, while sometimes getting a tad more contemporary. Either way, Bray’s knowledge of the music is enlightening, as are all the hidden gems you’re bound to discover.

Best scenemaker
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY

Once the Red Bull Music Academy was in full swing, the fest was omnipresent. As part of its globetrotting music school for budding musicians and producers, this year RBMA crammed venues with shows by DJ Premier, Arthur Baker, A-Trak, Kid Sister and M.I.A. and commissioned locally based work by photog Jamel Shabazz.

Best punk band
BRUTAL KNIGHTS

These hairy, gut-jiggling, boyfriend-stealing, crowd-soaking rock ’n’ roll ignoroids not only put on one helluva entertaining spectacle, but they also combine just the right amount of sick slapstick humour and fuck-you attitude to take the best punk band title.
NOW | NOVEMBER 1 – 7, 2007 | VOL. 27 NO. 9

FUCKED UP: DAVID COMES TO DINNER


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On the most recent episode of , chef Sam Mason hosted FUCKED UP for an evening of preparing vegetable papillotes and live set of tunes. Look and learn. The full show is available online:

Exclusive MP3:

Hidden World is now available for download on:


Fucked Up [I] Year of the Pig [/I] Review

"Year of the Pig"

That’s the name of a monstrous new 18-minute song by a neo-hardcore band
from Toronto. And the name of the band? Well, suffice it to say that if
newspaper coverage were a priority, the members might have called themselves
Messed Up instead. You can find “Year of the Pig” on iTunes and elsewhere.
The 1980s Portland, Ore., band Poison Idea is an obvious influence, although
Poison Idea wasn’t known for composing multipart epics about sexism and
serial killing and the meat industry. In any case, this is an unreasonably
stubborn song, building momentum slowly as the guest singer Jennifer Castle
murmurs the lyrics (“Pigs at the trough show no fear”) and Pink Eye, the
band’s lead singer, roars them (“Pigs at the trough getting fat!”). The band
trudges slowly along for six minutes, then builds momentum, then lurches
forward, riding a relatively sleek groove as Pink Eye declaims the words
(“Ashamed of the pig in our head/Ashamed, so we kill ’em instead”) as the
band stretches up and surges forward and, finally, collapses in a heap. This
is the second installment in a series inspired by the Chinese zodiac; with
any luck, “Year of the Rat” is up next.
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Dusted Features: Fucked Up

Fucked Up used to play basements exclusively, but now they play them after the show at the club earlier in the night. They are five polite Canadians who play melodic hardcore like they invented it, equal parts Donnas, Poison Idea, and street punk gobbing in the mix. Attempts to shake free of their hardcore purist fanbase by writing longer songs are only succeeding to draw in more diverse crowds. They have over 20 releases, the most recent of which is the “Year of the Pig” 12” single on What’s Your Rupture.

Top Ten Intro Music Tunes by 10,000 Marbles of Fucked Up

1. A Challenge of Honour – "The Home Coming"
Our gnarliest use of intro music. Sounds like a thousand sketchy bats flying into your ears and eyeballs, and sounds so out of place and jarring, that it makes for a hyper-disorienting tense environment just before we start playing, like as if there is construction upstairs,

but instead of carpenters its nazis. This band also has a record called "Spartan Victories" – enough said.

2. Julee Cruise – "I Float Alone"
For the exact opposite effect. We used this at a show in Washington, just beyond the Black Lodge. Peaks in just the right places, fills up a dark room with just the right amount of anticipation, and sounds like its about to unravel and spill right off the highway. Badalamenti uses all of the right tricks here – a melting horn solo, the most confusing piano mangling, and he steps on the lowest pedal on the organ, and just leaves it running.

3. Barbara Mason – "A Good Man is Gone"
Yeah, the "Yes I’m Ready" Barbara Mason, but this was the mid 70s NY alleyway version. This song is from the "Sheba Baby" soundtrack. The night before Octavio left for the psychic warzone, we played this track before our set and tore everyone’s hearts from their stomachs. Then he reminded us that time doesn’t exist and we’d see him when we get there, and filtered into the vibrations, singing "Yes I’m Ready".

4. David Axelrod – "The Mental Traveller"
Nothing gets the attention of merch table monkey’s like a hundred violins

sustaining for 40 seconds straight. Useful again at the 1.30 minute mark when the guitars kick in, because if you still aren’t paying attention you might think it was us playing, except for when those headache-strings come back in.

5. Gustav Holst – "Mars, the Bringer of War"
Our best shows have been odes to the god of war anyhow, so why not stand up and take our hats off for the anthem before it starts? The only song better at getting people prepared to smash each other is?°¦

6. Cro Mags – "We Gotta Know"
Sometimes we get booked to play festivals and play this like a secret code for the lowlifes that sneak in so they can call mayhem when we start. The most classic intro of all time, we actually play this with instruments,

not over the PA. When we covered "Down but Not Out" at a loft in Brooklyn three different fights broke out at the same time – talk about mind control.

7. Kinfolk Kia Shine – "So Krispy"
We still can’t afford a lot of fancy gear. I had this on my iPod (Shuffle) a few weeks ago when we did a festival in England and was it came on right as I was done setting up. I put the earbuds to my guitar pickups and looped the drum intro with my line 6 delay pedal. We used the beat to start the first song of our set. A few weeks later we did the same thing with the start of "97 Mentality" but I wrote about this song because the lyrics are way more retarded ("Krispy like a two piece, not a pot pie").

8. Monty Cantsin – “Mass Media”
We had to use this a few times because David claims that he wrote it.

9. Julie London – "Like to Get to Know You"
We play this right AFTER we’re done playing and seperated by everyone at

the show by 3 inches of bulletproof glass in the Fucked Up-mobile, just to rub it in as we drive away (it also has a cow catcher on the front)

10. "Kaneda" from the Akira soundtrack
We had to stop playing this song because people kept turning into huge stuffed bears and exploding into birds and pieces of felt and shit all over the club in slow motion.

Stranger Danger: Identifying which singer will try to touch you someplace your swimsuit covers


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Not to be a jerk or anything, but when it’s 134 degrees outside and you’ve just gotten home from a show in some unventilated basement where the walls were sweating more than you, you (I mean, I) start wondering why the only lead singers that get all in your face and want to dance with you are some of the sweatiest/baldest/fattest in indie rock. It takes a lot for me to be in the mood for interaction, and it takes a lot lot more for me to want some singer to touch my butt or put his/her boobs/crotch in my face. I think that this interaction can be (somewhat) predicted based on a few characteristics. I spent the last 36 hours straight doing research and compiling data, and now I’m finally ready to prove my conclusion.

“Pink Eyes” from Fucked Up:
http://www.kidspushingkids.com/wp-content/uploads/fuckedup_main.jpg
http://www.kidspushingkids.com/wp-content/uploads/fuckedup_graph_main.jpg

To view full article, click the direct link.

FUCKED UP FEATURED ON VBS.TV

FUCKED UP have just wrapped up their first full North American tour in support of and they’ve throngs of old and new fans craving more. We’ll surely have more dates to announce in the near future, but in the meantime we have some new video of the band to check out on the VBS.tv program ‘Practice Space’. The show can be viewed on the or in the embedded player below. Enjoy.

Fucked Up [I]Year of The Pig[/I] REVIEW

Sadly no Polaris Music Prize shortlist nomination for these epic punks, because a victory would have been sweet to read in the headlines and hear anchors mutter on the news. Instead we get this monster of a 12-inch single on New York’s What’s Your Rupture? label, which kick-starts a series of singles the label has planned in the coming months featuring Tyvek, Comet Gain and Think About Life. Following up this year’s “Year of the Dog” single, “Year of the Pig” continues an exploration of the Chinese Zodiac, but a statement from the band reveals there’s more to it. The theme is opposing the “exploitation and violence against women, using prostitution as a main symbol,” they explain. The titular “pig” is in fact a reference to BC animal farmer Robert Pickton who was charged with the grisly murders of 26 prostitutes, though the band claim it “is not attempt to condemn him,” but a statement acknowledging that the public refuses “to properly deal with these issues.” What better outlet than a whopping 18 and a half minute marathon that pushes the hardcore template further into the realm of prog. Beginning with a docile preamble featuring some magnificent organ fidgeting by former Deadly Snakes member Max Danger. The sublime pipes of Jennifer Castle lead in, taking turns with Pink Eyes’ croaky verse, and then the band keep going, breaking into livid fits as they please, and then dropping back into their composed selves, turning the hostility on and off like it’s a light switch. The pacing is extraordinary: Mr. Jo’s drums are hell-bent on fluidity, as the guitars either chug like F-1 engines or fall back into the groove with Danger’s organ. Another testament to their greatness, this is certainly one of their more unhinged and deceptive moments to date.

Fucked Up "Tell Us a Story"

We did a fly-out to Vancouver at the beginning of this year. And before we left I had gone off my anti-anxiety medication and replaced it with these tranquilizers called Atavan. I didn’t know the procedure for taking them, so apparently I blacked out for the entire tour?°¦ Apparently, I, being certainly a straightedge young man, was in a drug-induced coma for 72 hours.

I can remember bits and pieces, but for the rest of it I can’t really recall any details. When we were in Vancouver this time, kids were coming up to me telling me things that I had no recollection of. I fell asleep standing up. I quit the band onstage and stormed off, which I kind of remember a little bit of. I can’t remember people I met. People [are] coming up to me and I’m like, “Nice to meet you.” They’re like, “Yeah, we talked for like an hour last time." Apparently we had gotten stuck in an elevator for three hours and I have no memory of that. Whatsoever?°¦ I honestly cannot recall at all being in that elevator. And apparently it was a big deal to me, I told that story at every show we played that weekend, about how we’d been stuck in this elevator, how I’d been traumatized by this whole experience. And I don’t remember that. And apparently the reason the elevator got stuck was my fault. We were in the elevator and I kept trying to hug Mike, our guitarist. And he kept pushing me away. And me being a larger man, I stumbled back and knocked the elevator out of joint and it lodged in between floors. And I don’t remember it. Huge black holes in my life. For three whole days.

I can remember bits and pieces. I remember throwing a Slurpee at Josh, our other guitarist. And I remember getting home and having a nervous breakdown—that’s when I decided to go back on my anti-anxiety medication, by the way. But everything else is just a complete blur. Not even a blur, like it didn’t happen. It would be one thing if it was a blur and I could kind of recall hazy details, but it was literally like it didn’t happen. At all. I have records in my record collection from that weekend that I don’t remember buying! That’s how fucked it was. I might not even say any of it was negative, because I really don’t like touring. So not recalling any touring isn’t that bad. I wish I could get these pills to go to work with, go to school with and not remember any of it. I think we’re gonna try to get a sponsorship. I’m Memento. I’m gonna get pictures of Vancouver tattooed on my body. I probably have Vancouver babies coming. As long as my Toronto wife doesn’t find out, I’m fine!

Pink Eye is the lead singer for Canadian hardcore revisionists Fucked Up. Their latest album, the vinyl-only Year Of The Pig (What’s Your Rupture?), features an 18-minute long title track petitioning for the rights of Canadian sex workers. Pink Eye thinks he may have to write the lyrics on his arm.

****

Psychedelic punk? That’s Fucked Up.

The members of Fucked Up star in an updated version of Upstairs, Downstairs. Naturally, it’s called Fucked Upstairs, Fucked Downstairs

Things have been going deceptively well for Toronto’s Fucked Up. First off, the hardcore quintet has been travelling the globe nonstop since the release of its raging debut, Hidden World, late last year. The epic album has garnered unanimous acclaim, even snagging the group a showcase on Canada’s MTV Live. But despite its good fortune, there are major problems in the Fucked Up camp. Big ones include the fact that the group’s members hate touring and, quite frankly, aren’t even that fond of one another.

"Everyone in the band is trying their best not to get on each other’s nerves," singer Pink Eyes (aka Damian Abraham) says, reached on his cellphone from a Nashville pit stop. "We’re trying to make it as comfortable as possible."

A generator-powered TV in the tour van helps reduce the irritation level between shows. On-stage, however, the slightest problem has been known to ignite intra-band brawls. A tiff between guitarist 10,000 Marbles (known to his mom as Mike Haliechuk) and the Fucked Up vocalist during a Cloverdale performance last February stopped the gig altogether, showcasing the volatile nature of the group, which includes bassist Mustard Gas (Sandy Miranda), guitarist Concentration Camp (Josh Zucker), and drummer Guinea Beat (Jonah Falco).

"Mike spat on me," Pink Eyes explains. "I threw a mike at him and said, ‘Fuck you’ and just walked off-stage. Josh went outside and asked what was wrong. I threw a Slurpee at him."

Fucked Up has been pumping out rage-riddled blasts of old-school punk and hardcore since 2001, marrying the ragged melodies of the Damned to street-tough vocals. Early singles blasted by in a blur, but Hidden World challenges the conventions of the band’s chosen genre by pushing many songs past the five-minute mark. Highlights include the pyschedelic-flared "Baiting the Public", in which feedbacking guitars and full-throttle drums act as a backdrop for lines like "I want to wreck your life/I want to hear you snap". Fucked Up continues to push itself on its upcoming 12-inch single "Year of the Pig", a song that defies hardcore’s basic rules with its 18-minute length. Focusing on the complex issues of sex-trade workers’ rights, the frontman felt a shorter tune would have been merely scraping the surface.

"It would be trite to deal with it in two, three minutes," he says. "It’s a fairly involved topic. Sex workers seem to be relegated to the lowest rung of society and are ignored until something sensational happens like the [Robert] Pickton case."

Pink Eyes hopes that the track and Fucked Up’s charity work with Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC), an organization trying to create safer conditions within the industry, will bring the issue some attention.

"As a punk band, you want to have socially relevant lyrics," he continues. "Hopefully we can affect a minute level of change by supporting this organization and raising awareness."

Fucked Up plays the Ukrainian Cultural Centre this Saturday (July 7).

FUCKED UP [I]INTERVIEW[/I]

oronto, ON’s Fucked Up have become one of those rarities in modern music: a critically acclaimed hardcore punk act. Granted, they’re one with enough creative flourishes to keep the adjectives flowing for days on end. Their first full-length, 2006′s Jade Tree-released Hidden World, does exceed the 70-minute mark after all, and left various press pieces recommending it for fans of everyone from Black Flag and Negative Approach to Pink Floyd and the Who.

I spoke with rhythm guitarist Concentration Camp (Josh Zucker) and bassist Slumpy (Sandy Miranda) last Friday after the Brooklyn, NY stop of their ongoing U.S. tour, which also featured a set from partners in crime Career Suicide.

Pastepunk’s Jason Bergman, who took the photos you see below, conducted an interview with frontman Pink Eyes (Damian Abraham) the same night, so be sure to check that out as well.

Obviously it took years for the band to deliver a proper full-length. In the 1980s hardcore bands would rarely put out full-lengths, but it was more due either to their own longevity or a lack of financial capability to stay in a studio for that long. Fucked Up has been around for years and in the 2000s no less, so what were your reasons for waiting so long on a full-length?

JOSH: It was pretty much just a matter of circumstance, actually. It wasn’t a plan. We’d always planned to do a full-length — it was just, circumstances were bad. We ended up [constantly] doing singles; that was just our writing style. We write two or three songs at a time; I guess we’re just kind of impatient. We just wanted to release something as soon as we wrote them. It wasn’t really anything more substantial than that. I don’t think we were trying to make any kind of statement by just putting out 7-inches for a while.

But it was kind of fun to do [the full-length]. It just kind of fit the pace of the band at that time.

Do you think another full-length anytime soon is possible in between the constant vinyl releases?

SANDY: Yeah, after tour. Probably at the end of this year we’re gonna start recording our second album. But I mean, since then we’ve released a few other records — not full-lengths, but like, you know, today we had the Year of the Pig [12 inch]. But yes, there are plans for another one, and whether or not there are plans for one after that, we’ll see.

Do you have any producers or recording studios in mind?

JOSH: We did our last one with this guy Jon Drew who’s a friend of ours from Toronto, who’s [an] engineer. But we pretty much produce all our own stuff. We’ve thought from time to time about bringing in a producer, but we haven’t nailed anybody down.

SANDY: In a way, we know what we want. And if we had someone with the technical background to sort of achieve what we’re trying to go for, then I don’t really think there’s a need for a producer at this time.

Hidden World as I’m sure you’re aware has received a ton of press from relatively more mainstream outlets like Vice, NME, and such. Obviously this is quite unusual for a hardcore band. It even landed you that MTV Canada gig, and we could even go so far as to say it was unusual for Pitchfork Media to review the record. How do you feel about all this coverage?

SANDY: I don’t know. Well, first of all, I don’t know if I’d really consider or classify Hidden World to be a hardcore album. And I think because of its sort of crossover ability, that’s kind of resulted in MTV Canada, or Vice [coverage], or what have you. It is kind of weird, but I guess because of the momentum we gained over the years of [solely] doing 7-inches, it piqued people’s curiosity and that in itself became its own kind of news story.

Why do you think the press has flocked to you so hard and few, if any, others in the genre?

JOSH: I guess it’s because we write stuff that isn’t so much following hardcore in Canada. I guess we kind of strove to do different hardcore. We’re all into random kinds of music. Mike, our guitar player, is really into electronic/techno music and shit.

SANDY: But we all have backgrounds in punk, so that’s where that root is. It’s just that, as we’ve gotten older — I mean, for me personally, I just kind of got bored with all the same kind of hardcore and punk that was coming out, so we just sort of…moved on.

JOSH: There’s a lot of hardcore bands that’ll cross over into weird different scenes, and the "Vice scene" or whatever is one we kind of fell into. I think we also kind of made it, or stuck our noses out at people and tried to attract them. Especially in Toronto there’s a lot of subcultures…some of us [got tired of it], but I feel most comfortable being at a hardcore punk show. And I think it’s more fun for us to fuck around.

SANDY: [We all have] different perspectives, different takes. It’s always cool discovering something new, so in this way it’s sort of a reversal.

JOSH: There’s also this kind of trend of semi-hardcore bands that are just like, rock bands that are starting to scream, and get really huge, so I think it’s a decent thing to try to counter…[this like] really bullshit music.

Do you feel like Fucked Up could ever become that sort of gateway hardcore band for kids? Or do you yourself even view your music as far too elaborate and composed to presently appeal that way?

JOSH: It seems like we definitely have a lot of younger fans now…which I think is cool. I don’t know — [looks at SANDY] — are we a "gateway drug"?

SANDY: I think if we are, we’re a hard pill to swallow because a lot of "gateway bands" nowadays that kids maybe find out about on TV, they’re very kind of…[strains]…they have a very friendly image. And we don’t. So if a kid’s gonna get into us, I think that’s ultra cool [rather] than them getting into say, Fall Out Boy, because it shows that maybe they’re open-minded enough. They’re not so hung up on our visual aesthetic, and maybe instead base their opinions on our records, and [subsequently, for other bands], their aesthetic, and their sounds.

Oi! just doesn’t seem like a very popular style of punk rock to draw from these days, so it’s all the more interesting that a band that’s reached your level of popularity is influenced by it so proudly. This might sound like a weird question, but what aspects of it do you believe the band draw most strongly from?

SANDY: Well, I wouldn’t say Oi!…maybe some in the guitar, maybe in some of the musical sensibilities. I don’t know. [sighs] There are the [basic influences]: Black Flag, Motörhead, Buzzcocks…

JOSH: I think the Oi!/skinhead culture has kind of seen this light… I mean, it seems like people from time to time…[pointing to bald drummer walking by, likely joking]…yo, our drummer for instance really got into us by the whole skinhead thing.

SANDY: He just got a haircut [mild laughter].

DRUMMER (JONAH / GUINEA BEAT / MR. JO): Sup? [attempts to eat camera]

[interruptive but brief discussion about a gold watch ensues]

JOSH: …What am I trying to say? We were in England recently, and there’s this new movie called "This Is England"…

Yeah, I think I saw a poster for that.

JOSH: Yeah, it’s a decent movie, I actually downloaded it and watched it. It kind of like, shined the light on the skinhead culture. It was one of the few working class, punk cultures that was really thriving, really mainstream. In the U.S. it’s kind of getting recuperated as this memory, which happens in punk from time to time, and [they've] finally done it to the skinhead/Oi! scene.

I don’t think we really have any relation to that, but it’s kind of an interesting thing to watch. I think every sector of punk and hardcore eventually gets swallowed up, and re-broadcasted in a new way.

But I guess for us, it’s [just] a [mostly musical case] and some kind of aberration for the kind of aesthetic they had.

Your new 12" Year of the Pig looks at violence against women and rights for sex workers. I’d like to talk about that for a bit.

In an idealistic society where employment is available for everyone — do you believe women would still choose to take on a career in this area? In other words, do you believe prostitution can be a self-imposed choice as opposed to limited employment opportunities in a class-dominated economy?

SANDY: Yeah, I think women that are in the sex industry are in there, for the most part, by choice. I haven’t done that much research — I don’t know what the stats are, what their backgrounds are, but I think generally people choose to do what they do. Bottom line.

JOSH: It’s a supply and demand thing. Prostitution’s been around in society for as long as history. [There's] definitely a lot of women who are pushed into it against their will; there’s a huge issue of trafficking all over the world; and [there's] sexual slavery that goes on. And at the same time, there’s people who go into it because it’s a really lucrative business. Some women find it empowering, so I think there’s a really broad spectrum of people that are involved in it. And despite it being populated by all these
I think most bands have a gimmick of some sort, whether it’s subtle or really obvious. I think Fucked Up is kind of a combination of the two.
different kinds of people, there’s still a really scapegoated image of prostitutes as either somebody who’s been pushed into it against their will, or somebody who’s just a crack fiend and has no other choice but to sell their body. In the most ideal society, there would be a thriving prostitution industry that was self-managed; where people had a respect for women who did it as a career they were choosing to do. There’s always gonna be people — men, women who want to buy sex. I don’t think it’s ever really gonna fade away.

What rights would you seek for sex workers?

JOSH: The Year of the Pig is based on that kind of [specific] issue. And we just did a benefit in Toronto for a group called the Sex Professionals of Canada. I think their approach to the whole thing is a pretty decent one, which is, they want decriminalization as opposed to legalization; there’s some nuances in that. [That is], there wouldn’t be any type of formal governments, sanctions, or un-sanctions — like monitoring of the industry. People would be able to start brothels, organize things on their own behalf. It’s kind of a refreshing view for the way a lot of people look at politics and economies right now. So I pretty much agree with what they want to do, which is to get Canada [doing the aforementioned]. There’s all these places in the world, like New Zealand and a couple states in Australia that have decriminalization as they want to see it.

SANDY: Amsterdam too, right?

JOSH: No, see Amsterdam is legalization where they have red light districts, and for that you have to buy permits [and] licenses, and it’s a really government-intensive thing where people are just kind of getting exploited in a different way.

As a fairly related topic, how do you feel about the female involvement in modern hardcore and for that matter, punk rock in general?

SANDY: …I play in this band because we’ve all known each other for a very long time. I don’t think I was sought out for being a girl, though, I could see maybe a benefit of having me in the band to sort of show audiences that it can happen and it can be cool and it can be totally fun and comfortable. There aren’t a lot of girls playing music, and I’m not really sure why.

I have a tough time talking about this topic — I haven’t fleshed out in my head exactly why there aren’t so many women in music, like this kind of music. Secondary to that, I like different kinds of music as well, not so much the aggression you see in hardcore and punk and I think that’s maybe why girls aren’t attracted to [this] kind of music because it’s a pretty aggressive form. I think generally, maybe women are not so into…I don’t know, I’m just generalizing there. But that would be my reasons.

Do you believe it could be related to America’s general history of male[-led] domineering, or–?

SANDY: Oh, of course, that goes without saying.

I don’t really see much of a change [, either]. I mean, sure, there are a lot of girls participating in other aspects of punk — you know, photographers, or zines, or media-related / behind the scenes aspects of it, [but] not so much on stage. Maybe that [comes from] men wanting to flaunt their assets physically — [sighs] — on the stage and, you know, show their prowess by rocking out and attracting females, but…I don’t know. It’s kind of a bad answer I guess.

What about general, ignorant chauvinism due to the strong presence of such young people in bands and/or at shows?

SANDY: Well, hopefully, if youth are coming to shows where there is more of a female representation, then maybe the next generation will not see such a divide. I think there is progress. There are a lot more women in bands now than there were 10 years ago.

What do you think can be done now to help balance gender involvement more?

SANDY: I don’t know. My mom had a girl, and this girl grew up, and befriended a bunch of kids in punk, and they happened to be in a band. It’s actually pretty random. Uhh…yeah. [laughs]

You tend to play with a lot of hardcore bands that are influenced by the same decade and/or classic type of bands. How do you feel about the more modern hardcore bands you play with, whose sound a lot of people would likely not link to the `80s as immediately as they would you, or Career Suicide. Say, Modern Life Is War for example. I know you’re playing with them soon or you just played with them.

JOSH: I don’t know. I mean, all hardcore, all rock music basically — as a reference, punk pretty much in every way has been a dominant guide to the way that rock music’s developed. So bands like Modern Life Is War still…if it’s not like a thrashy, `82 mosh punk band, they’re still…you know, it’s like New York City hardcore from the `80s. Mosh bands.

I don’t see a divide so much, [there are] bands that really craft their sound around a really retro sound, and bands that are crafting more around a `90s sound, but it all pretty much comes from the same place. And that’s just personal taste. [smirking] So I won’t say anything.

Are you ever afraid of becoming that gimmick band that people come to see because of what you do and not what you play? Like, I read an interview with the Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist who said he stopped breathing fire because he didn’t want people saying, "Let’s go see that band! The dude breathes fire!" I can [imagine] there might be some kids who go, "Let’s go see that band Fucked Up! I heard the singer bashes the mic into his head until he bleeds."

SANDY: Well, playing music and showing your craft to people, you’re kind of automatically a performer and you can’t really control if people are coming to see you for the music or for anything else that you bring to the table. Whatever people’s intentions are, I’m not going to judge them — because I’ve been to some shows where I appreciated the band’s live show as a whole more than their music. But I don’t think that’s wrong.

JOSH: I think most bands have a gimmick of some sort, whether it’s subtle or really obvious. I think Fucked Up is kind of a combination of the two. We have some really subtle gimmicks — more about the record and the artwork and stuff that we put on them. And then there’s the live gimmicks of Damian or whatever.

But I think most bands have gimmicks. [Some] get labeled really quickly as gimmicks, and other ones, the people are real. None of it really seems that real anymore — everything is kind of a gimmick to me.

SANDY: At the end of the day, it just adds interest to the overall package. I can’t recall loving a band that didn’t have any sort of interesting hook. So I think it’s sort of a necessity.

JOSH: That being said, I think the punk scene is one of the few remaining scenes that even if it’s just a small part of it, like it exists without relying on gimmicks, it has people who truly like the music or truly like the message of a band, or just find a cathartic hardcore show and jump around [at]… There’s not really a lot of other scenes that don’t ride on that gimmick or that kind of fashionability, and I think whatever you can say about punk, there’s still that current that kind of defines it, and that makes it a cool place to be.

FUCKED UP TOUR BEGINS NOW


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FUCKED UP enter the US today to begin their first full US tour in support of FUCKED UP have returned from the UK just in time to turn around and head out again for their first full US and Canada tour in support of . Get out to these shows and remember to pick the new Year of the Pig 12" single, which will be released by in August.

Check out FUCKED UP’s on Radio 1′s Punk Show with Mike Davies. The web site for show includes the song entitled ‘Black Hats’ which is the B-side of the aforementioned EP. ‘Black Hats’ is also streaming .

Not sure what to expect? This is what NME about the bands recent tour in the UK.

And of course, if you missed it, there’s always this:

FUCKED UP SUMMER TOUR DATES

06/20/2007 Cleveland, OH United States @ Now That’s Class
06/21/2007 Pittsburgh, PA United States @ Lawrenceville Moose
06/22/2007 Brooklyn, NY United States @ Club Europa (NEW VENUE)
06/23/2007 Richmond, VA United States @ Citizens Against Crime Warehouse
06/24/2007 Nashville, TN United States @ The Muse
06/25/2007 New Orleans, LA United States @ The Dragon’s Den
06/26/2007 Austin, TX United States @ Emo’s
06/27/2007 Las Cruces, NM United States @ The Farm
06/28/2007 Phoenix, AZ United States @ The Phix
06/29/2007 Tijuana Mexico @ Salon Fiesta
06/30/2007 Berkeley, CA United States @ 924 Gilman St.
07/01/2007 North Hollywood, CA United States @ ANMT Showplace
07/02/2007 Los Angeles, CA United States @ 1269 E. 6th
07/04/2007 San Francisco, CA United States @ The Hemlock Tavern
07/05/2007 Portland, OR United States @ Satyricon
07/06/2007 Olympia, WA United States @ Manium
07/07/2007 Vancouver, BC Canada @ The Ukranian Cultural Center
07/08/2007 Edmonton, AB Canada @ Teddy’s
07/09/2007 Regina, SK Canada @ The Exchange
07/10/2007 Winnepeg, MB Canada @ The Collective Cabaret
07/11/2007 Minneapolis, MN United States @ Triple Rock Social Club
07/12/2007 Chicago, IL United States @ Beat Kitchen
07/13/2007 Cedar Falls, IA United States @ The Boathouse
07/14/2007 Lawrence, KS United States @ Jackpot Saloon
07/15/2007 St. Louis, MI United States @ Red Sea
07/16/2007 Lawrenceville, GA United States @ The Treehouse
07/17/2007 Virginia Beach, VA United States @ Steppin’ Out
07/18/2007 Washington, DC United States @ 1017 7th St
07/19/2007 Philadelphia, PA United States @ First Unitarian Church
07/20/2007 New York, NY United States @ Knitting Factory New York
07/21/2007 Brooklyn, NY United States @ Southpaw

The will be updated with the most current information and details as we get them.